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Let's keep it simple. What should a local church primarily be all about?

Those of you who are a little younger than me may not know that KISS stands for Keep It Simple Silly (or stupid, if you don’t mind being politically incorrect.)

I am a simple sort of guy.  I am motivated by the truth in 2 Corinthians 1:12, “For our boast is this: the testimony of our conscience that we behave in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom, but by the grace of God and supremely so toward you (ESV).”

I like the words:

  1. Simplicity
  2. Sincerity

I can wrap my mind and my heart around two words!

We can save sincerity for another post, but let’s camp on simplicity for a while.

Not long ago I read a book titled, “Simple Church.” Great read and very thought provoking.  Reading that book, coupled with my own experience and observations, has led me to conclude that we complicate things when it comes to ministry in and through local churches. We take what could, and should, be simple to understand / implement and complicate it by doing too many different things and offering too many different options to church members and  attenders. Many churches are like long buffet tables with too many choices.

I am setting you up for my stab at a simple purpose statement that can fit any church and gives you three simple ideas to hang all activities and programs on.  Here it is:

The purpose of our church is to make disciples who are in community and on mission with the Gospel and for the Gospel.

That’s it…except we need lots of new leaders to help us do precisely that…which is also a topic for a future post.

There is a three -fold purpose here:

  1. Make disciples
  2. Do what you can to make sure these disciples are in community
  3. Do what you can to make sure these disciples are on mission

All three are necessary to advance the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Based on the New Testament, your church needs to define what a disciple is
  • Based on the New Testament, your church needs to define what it means to be in community (hint: it means more than being in a community group. You can be in a community group and not have a clue what real community is)
  • Based on the New Testament, your church needs to define what it means to be on mission (individually and corporately).

Everything you teach and do should help your people become disciples who are in community and on mission.

Every time a new idea surfaces, ask yourself:  If we do this, will it help us move our people toward our definition of what a disciple is and help these growing disciples be in community and on mission?

The bottom line is that churches around the country (and around the world, for that matter) are full of people who are not becoming disciples who are in community and on mission for the Gospel and with the Gospel.

If what you do is not consistently leading to that, stop doing it for simplicity’s sake.  Simple enough?? Want to push back on this simple definition? Go ahead!

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Reader Comments (1)

The four necessary functions of all churches are listed in Acts 2:42
"They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." NASB
The apostles' teaching = the word of god which gives all the definitions of the items listed in the article.
Fellowship = living in a true community with the members lives intimately knitted together.
Breaking of bread = meals together NOT the so-called communion service which is a traditional invention by man (see 1 Cor. 11:20-27). The apostle Paul declares that they are not celebrating the cup and the bread because they do it in an unworthy fashion. People cannot get drunk on a thimbleful of wine and others cannot go hungry because they did not get a scrap of bread or a cracker which is the contemporary so-called " Lord's Table."
Prayer = prayer as Jesus taught (see Luke
The proper definitions of the various items listed are abundantly available in the scripture which the contemporary church despises by neglect. We need to be actual disciples (students or learners) of the bible and all this confusion of function will be eliminated.
February 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKenneth Morris

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